Tuesday, December 10, 2013
I’ve noticed that in most friend groups there are at least 6 stereotypical characters. There’s the pretty one, the sporty one, the funny one, the wild card, the introvert and the mama bear (almost the Spice Girls). You say I’m being silly? Give a real hard look at your friendship circles and I doubt you’ll honestly be able to tell me that I’m making this up. In smaller groups of friends you may find 1 person fits 2 or 3 of the stereotypes but nevertheless, they’re all there. Now that a lot of my friends have gotten married and started having babies, some of us have probably shifted our character but in college and before I was always the Mama Bear.
|I even dressed as a Black Bear (the best kind of bear) for Halloween one year|
After my initial anger subsides, I retract my claws and remind myself that lashing out would only hurt my friend and make me look like an idiot. Not to mention how ticked I’d be if one of them did something like this to me! Still, there are times I really want to say something since my friend can’t. Maybe a little photo comment “Wow, her hairstyle reminds me so much of someone we both know circa 2006.” Or maybe a little “I know who gave you that shirt Christmas 2012.” If I wanted to be a little less subdued I'd just type "For now" under his photo caption declaring his love for the new girl.
I won’t ever actually be that petty, passive aggressive or ridiculous though so instead I blog and listen to T-Swift. Not that any of my friend’s exes read this but if you do, don’t worry little fellas. This Mama Bear will never actually do anything to embarrass you, herself or her friends. Just know that your current girlfriend most likely has a Mama Bear in her group of friends and that lady may not be as nice as I am.
Thursday, December 5, 2013
Black Beans are one of my favorite foods. They’re so neutral but yet they have a distinctive taste. I’ve always tried to incorporate them when I cook but since I went vegetarian, black beans have become my protein staple. Now that it’s cold outside I’m on a Black Bean Soup kick. In my opinion Panera has THE ULTIMATE Black Bean Soup. It’s so expensive though! The Target by my apartment actually sells Panera soup in jars but that is even more expensive.
A few months ago my Dad got me this new Vegan cook book (he can never remember if I’m vegan or vegetarian- I’m not even going to try to get him to remember pescatarian haha) with a yummy, simple Black Bean Soup recipe. The only problem is that it called for a blender and I didn’t have one. Since I’m janky in the kitchen I decided to try to use my food processor and just a pot on the stove in place of a blender. Of course it didn’t work. For Thanksmas last week my parents got me to coolest blender so I’m back in the bean soup business! It’s a Cuisinart blender that not only blends, chops, etc. but it also heats! I can literally make soup with one kitchen appliance. LOVE THAT!
Here’s the recipe, get ready because it’s pretty intense…
1 Red Bell Pepper
2 Cans Black Beans (not drained)
Vegetable Broth (added until soup as the consistency you prefer)
Seriously, you don’t even have to write it down when you go to the store! If my scatter brained self was able to remember these items in the grocery store after work on a Wednesday then anyone can. I will say that I added some Slap Ya Mama to it because I like my food to kick on the way down. As simple as the ingredients are, the recipe is even easier!
1. Clean and chop bell pepper. I, of course, do not chop so instead I just put my bell pepper into the blender first and let it pulse a few times. Voila! Chopped bell pepper!
2. Add both cans of black beans with their juices. You can drain it if you want but I like the liquidy part.
3. Blend for just a few seconds to mash up those beans a little bit and mix in the bell pepper.
4. Heat 2 cups of vegetable broth to a boil. Or if you have an awesome blender like I do, just add the vegetable broth and press the boil button.
5. Turn blender on low and add the vegetable broth slowly until the soup gets the texture you want. I like mine more on the soupy side but with lots of Black Beans still intact. If you need more vegetable broth just heat up some more, 2 cups worked for me.
6. Add Slap Ya Mama!
Seriously that’s it. 5 minutes and I was scarfing. I have some individually wrapped sharp cheddar cheese rectangles in my fridge that I needed to use so I cut one of those up and used it as a garnish. So cheap and it made enough for 4 meals at 1.5 cups each. I’m about to eat some as my lunch here at work actually! You can go to my Instagram if you want to see pictures since Blogger has decided he doesn't want to work with images right now.
If anyone has any recipe suggestions on this one let me know! There are SO many Black Bean Soup recipes out there, mine was almost too easy! Maybe I’m ready for the next level… maybe.
I don’t believe that anyone truly has no regrets about their life. I know that I have regrets, definitely one in particular that I wish I could go back and warn 16 year old Beth about (she was such a dummy).
Dear High School Beth,You will soon become friends with some people that you should RUN from. Although they are warm-hearted, wonderful, funny and smart, they will wreck you and ruin your relationships with some of the girls you call best friends now.Love, Future Beth
PS. Don’t get bangs your junior year of college, it’ll be a really bad choice.
I’m a big believer in fate. Not so much fate as in the world has a plan for me but more so that God has a plan for me. He lets us make mistakes and wrong decisions so that we can learn from them and bring us back to the “straight and narrow” path He has set for us to walk towards Him. However it’s our free will to make those decisions and walk away from the path He laid for us.
In my case, one could argue that if I hadn’t become friends with these people then I maybe wouldn’t have gone to Texas A&M or I wouldn’t have learned to value my own self-opinion above how the world sees me or that I wouldn’t have had the same opportunities to go abroad and discover my true passion for global nonprofit work. However my response to this argument is that I believe God still would have put experiences and people in my life (probably more positive experiences and people) to help me reach the same end points. I just wish that I hadn’t walked so far from His path for me and let these other people run my life for so long. I wish that I hadn’t let someone else convince me who I should and shouldn’t be friends with. I wish that future Beth had really been able to send that message to High School Beth.
But it’s in the past now and it can’t be changed, which makes it a regret. All I can do is keep trying to mend fences, keep trying to be a better person tomorrow than I am today and take time to pray each day that God helps me make decisions that follow His will for my life.
Wednesday, December 4, 2013
What are they putting in the water over there in the Europe?! All of my favorite singers/bands lately have been British, Norwegian, Scottish or French. I need to go on a European Music Tour and spend a few months traveling around going to concerts. Who wants to go with? I'm fun to travel with because I'm mom. With me you've always got a DD (or DW- designated walker) and someone who remembers to pack stuff like sunscreen and Ibuprofen. :)
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
I’m so glad Thanksgiving is over. I mean, I love it but this year my family had to do Christmas at Thanksgiving. The 6 of us in the immediate family crammed in Christmas the day before the other 14 of my extended Louisiana family came in to town for Thanksgiving. If that alone doesn’t spell disaster let me also tell you that in addition to the 20 humans in my house, there were 5 dogs. 2 of these dogs are the size of small children and of course there was a constant battle for the title of Alpha Dog going on between my Jack Russell/Chi and my Aunt’s mongo Rottie/Lab/Husky mix.
I really love my extended family though so it was great to see everyone. I just wish we could have seen each other in a larger house.
My niece Meridian (we call her M) is the best baby EVER. She’s 5 months now and I hadn’t seen her since she was a week old! I could have kept her adorable, chunky little self in my arms all week if it wasn’t mandatory for her to eat, nap and meet the rest of the family. We have some big expectations for her already. I want her to be a snarky fashionista, I don’t think that’s too far off the mark with the Seinfeld sense of humor her parents have and the fabulous clothes she’s already wearing. However my brother wants her to be a Piano playing, Grammy winning singer who also excels in soccer, speaks multiple languages, has a 4.0 GPA and gets accepted into a special school for gifted children (on a free scholarship of course because she’s so brilliant), who can beat up any thug who attempts to mug her on the street, has an independent spirit and knows she doesn’t need a man to take care of her, but is also gentle enough that birds and other forest creatures travel for miles just to help her get dressed in the morning like Snow White…. Alright, I got carried away there at the end but seriously… she’s 5 months old and we’re already speaking to her in English and Spanish. My brother also has started using flash cards with M. Okay, okay that isn’t all that unusual for parents today except that my brother doesn’t accept the animated pictures that the flash card makers decided to use. He printed out a different picture of Jesus from the internet and taped it to the front of her baby Bible and is also threatening to print out a different picture of a bear for the “B” flash card. It’s too ridiculous that the animated bear should be playing the violin on the card. Sigh. My brother and sister-in-law are incredible parents already though. I really don’t know how they do it. They don’t even seem that tired! First time parents of a 5 month old who both work should be falling asleep on the kitchen table during meals!
This was my first “food holiday” as a pescatarian so that was interesting. I wasn’t too worried because my family is big on sides. Seriously, the sides-to-meat ratio is ridiculous. We usually run out of turkey leftovers a day or two after Thanksgiving but we have enough Corny Corn and Green Bean Casserole for the next month. One of my cousins is a pescatarian too so she came up with the idea for us to eat fish instead of turkey. It was really helpful to have some kind of “meat” to eat while being engulfed in the delicious smell of fried Cajun-style turkey. I may have moral issues with eating meat but I am not immune to that mouth-watering smell. Plus I still remember what it tastes like so I know what I’m missing. I tried to convince my family to not make bacon for breakfast one morning but I didn’t stand a chance. Everything was so yummy! My two favorite things were our secret family recipe Shrimp Dip and my Maw-maw’s Merleton Dressing. We can’t talk about the Shrimp Dip, I’ve already said too much- my Grandma barely even agreed to give the recipe to my mom and Aunt! That Merleton Dressing though… merletons, shrimp, bread crumbs, some kind of Cajun spices and probably whatever else my Maw-maw has in the kitchen and feels like tossing in. I say this because one time my Aunt tried to make it on her own and bless her heart, it was NOT good.
I was expecting at least one large blow out this year. Whenever my dad’s side of the family gets together we have a least one big fight that leads to someone crying and someone else having to walk around the block to clear their head. It’s just what happens when you get that many bold personalities with loud voices and big opinions in one place. Nothing happened though! Maybe Meridian’s cuteness diffused everyone’s tension. The only yelling that happened was when my Maw-maw yelled at Tony Romo through the tv for wearing the number 9. It’s been his number for a really long time but that doesn’t matter because apparently she’s not okay with anyone else in the NFL wearing that number as it belongs to Drew Brees.
That was my week home. Lots of love, food and football! I hope all of you had a wonderful holiday and remembered to be thankful for what you’ve been blessed with. Even if it’s a cramped, loud house full of crazies.